Saturday, 13 May 2017

Like The Corners Of My Mind

Hello dear readers.!

You know, the child in me is never too far from the surface.

There is a very definite streak of silliness to me. A gleeful desire to indulge in folly. I am very rarely entirely serious. It means that when I visit with my nieces and nephews I can tend to relate with them perhaps just a touch too much.

Yesterday was perhaps a case in point.

Bear With
It was my niece, Gabby’s, fourteenth, birthday on Thursday but, as I was working a late shift I was unable to attend the planned celebrations (the by now traditional tea and cake round my mum’s house). All was not lost however and Friday saw myself, Tina, and a big box of doughnuts winging their way to the leafy(ish) suburbs of Pudsey.

Possibly best known for charitable bears or dancing dogs these days, Pudsey is my old stomping ground. The place I was both born, and indeed, bred. It’s a place that invokes a lot of memories.

It may have been this influence or, perhaps more likely, the advent of my nephew Charlie listening to a collection of Children's TV theme tunes and songs that got me harking back to the long distant days of my own childhood.

All Covered In Cheese
It’s amazing, really, just how many of the songs of my formative years seem to have stuck in my head. I’m apparently word perfect on ‘The Wombles’ theme tune amongst others and would happily go head to head with anyone on ‘The Red car And The Blue Car Had A Race’, although there are apparently a few more verse of ‘On Top Of Spaghetti’ than I remember.

These feats of childhood recall inspired a conversation regarding other phenomena of my formative years. There was Tootles The Taxi, The Magic Porridge Pot, and of course Chicken Licken, Henny Penny and Foxy Loxy (The sky is falling down!). Books I either read or had read to me when only knee high to a particularly small grasshopper.

There is one of those little fragments of memory that my wife still to this day believes I’m making up though.

Song And Dance
It was a TV programme called The Learning Tree. A few weeks back I found myself singing the Theme Tune to it whilst pootling around the house. This of course drew a query from Tina as to exactly what the hell I was singing (These may not have been her exact words). I explained that it was from a show about a magic tree, wise and knowledgeable, that helped kids out with a variety of topics.

When I mentioned it yesterday, my mother greeted the idea with much the same scepticism. A quick google search found similar programs but none were actually the one I very, very clearly remember. Finally we found record of the show as well as a book series, but annoyingly no footage could be located to back up my memories.

Still it was there. It existed. I hadn’t just made up song lyrics, devised a tune for them and started to sing (all a tad out of my tone deaf abilities anyway). No, what I had accomplished was the, perhaps more impressive, feat of remembering a song from a show that had clearly not aired for over thirty years!

Little seed, it's time to grow
I'll teach you all you need to know
Listen close, and you will be
The one they call the learning tree

A Matter Over Mind
How I could do this when I have trouble remembering just about anything else is a mystery to me. My powers of recall are not brilliant and many is the time I have to be reminded of events, birthdays (not the wedding anniversary however. Hence the fact I am alive and able to breath unaided), and, well, anything involving dates or figures. It’s a good job I don’t work in a bank really! Oh wait…

Anyhow, as I’ve mentioned previously (see here ) the human mind really is an amazing and curious thing. In my case it’s something that I cherish in particular. Not because I have any claim to any particular genius, or even general cleverness, but because, as I’m not likely to win any plaudits in a physical sense, especially as time ticks by, it becomes even more important that I maintain and develop my mental faculties.

It doesn’t help that there are family members that have suffered from dementia and I have seen first hand hat this horrific disease can do. It doesn’t help either, to know that a small proportion of strains of dementia have a genetic component. I know it’s unlikely, and that any worrying is probably a severe case of overreacting but it remains one of my worst fears.

Writing, I think, helps to keep the old grey matter ticking over, so I’m afraid you might be struck with me for a while yet. Hopefully, anyway.

Until next time...